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need some advice 22 May 2020 20:55 #1

Hello,

Love the Youtube beducation videos. My wife and I had been on a 24 year old plush Serta Perfect Sleeper (flippable, inner spring, polyfoam). For some reason it worked for us (my theory below) but we are having trouble finding a replacement.

We don't like memory foam or a hybrid with memory foam.

Here is what we are realizing we like:
want to be "on" not "in" mattress
want good responsiveness and ability to reposition easily
want good edge support (no polyfoam piers or polyfoam encasement)
want to sleep cool (most of the year is hot and humid in eastern NC)
want good bounce
want good motion isolation (know this is less likely with innerspring but want to minimize)
want edge to edge coils
want tight top (no pillow top)
prefer no zoning (or just 3)

Here is our info:
I am 6' around 180lbs; wife is 5'4" and around 180-190lbs.
My wife is a stomach sleeper (she doesn't mind soft as long as she doesn't have to lift up to reposition).
I am a side sleeper (need pressure relief for hips and shoulders).

After doing the tutorials on TMU and other research/mattress trials, I am narrowing on three types: 1) a flippable polyfoam innerspring like we had, or 2) a 100% natural latex without fillers or GOLS in either three layers of all foam (preferably a customizable do it yourself with zipper cover), or 3) a flippable/two sided with latex over an innerspring but no polyfoam at all to get full benefit of longer latex durability.

Given our normal sleeping positions we are at opposite needs my theory as to why the old mattress worked is because it was only about 11" thick so it likely didn't have too much padding for my wife's hips to sink too far. Also, since it wasn't pocket coils (I would guess a Bonnell or open-end offset system) perhaps that too supported my wifes hips. For me, I think the 2" or so of polyfoam probably drew pressure relief from the coils which I suspect were softer on initial compression then firmer on deeper compression. Once the foam was shot the coils were soft enough for comfort.

So here are my questions:
1) What would you recommend we look for in a mattress for a good fit for us in general and what specifications for components?
2) I have seen some hybrid latex, one sided mattresses with no base support layer of dense foam under the coils. The quilted mattress cover appears all the coils sit on. Is that not a bad design?
3) Is a warranty that goes prorated after just 1-2 years a red flag? 5 years?

Thank you!

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need some advice 23 May 2020 08:29 #2

Seneca55:

I'm glad you enjoy my Beducation videos.

I'll do my best to answer your questions and hopefully that will give you some additional information to assist you in your mattress shopping process.

Here is what we are realizing we like:
want to be "on" not "in" mattress


This would tend to be a product with a tighter surface tension, or something people refer to as a more "firm" or "cushion firm" surface comfort.

want good responsiveness and ability to reposition easily


Again, this would tend to be something with a bit of a "firmer" surface comfort, not too deep of a comfort cradle, a stronger support core, and "perhaps" an innerspring unit for the support core versus polyfoam.

want good edge support (no polyfoam piers or polyfoam encasement) / want edge to edge coils


Something using a perimeter spring unit of a different geometry (the Quantum edge from Leggett and Platt is a common style, but there are other versions out there), or something using v-springs between border rods.

want to sleep cool (most of the year is hot and humid in eastern NC)


There really isn't a product to make you sleep "cooler", but it's more about facilitating airflow and minimization of insulating. There is a whole thread here on the forum dedicated to the mattress microclimate which you should search for and it's too detailed for me to repeat here. Basically all materials insulate to an extent, so a shallower comfort cradle tends to sleep "cooler" than something that is ultra plush and you sink deeply into it. Airflow is key, and most polyfoams and latex will be more breathable than even the newest generation of memory foams, especially when you're on the mattress and compressing the materials. The items closest to your skin can have the most dramatic impact. Avoid mattress pads with PVC/plastic/vinyl layers. Sheets that are good at wicking away moisture (lyocell) are very good. Humidity control is key. If you don't have air conditioning to control the bedroom temperature and humidity, there really isn't anything we can do with a mattress to rectify a situation like that.

want good bounce


For resilience and "push back", an innerspring unit for the support core can do a good job. Comfort materials such as latex and HR polyfoam will also offer good "push back". You'd want to avoid too much visco-elastic or overly plush material.

want good motion isolation (know this is less likely with innerspring but want to minimize)


You can get good motion isolation with products using a polyfoam or latex support core, as well as innersprings. But you already stated you prefer an innerspring support core. A fabric-encased innerspring unit will tend to be your best bet. Visco-elastic foam can also assist with motion isolation, even a thinner layer in the upholstery area of a mattress. Tufting can also help. Your bed frame will be the biggest culprit for "not absorbing" larger motion transfer waves. Look for something solid, or better yet a solid platform bed base.

want tight top (no pillow top)


As an FYI, tailoring as a pillowtop or tightop isn't an indicator of comfort. It's mostly about the density and ILD of the padding materials used. But with what you're describing I'm guessing most of the products you'll find will be tailored as traditional mattresses.

prefer no zoning (or just 3)


There are some excellent fabric encased innerspring units out there which have a center zone that is a bit more supportive, and with your wife's BMI and prone sleeping posture something with a reinforced center zone could be beneficial. I wouldn't necessarily exclude it. But zoning of course isn't necessary.

I am 6' around 180lbs; wife is 5'4" and around 180-190lbs.
My wife is a stomach sleeper (she doesn't mind soft as long as she doesn't have to lift up to reposition).
I am a side sleeper (need pressure relief for hips and shoulders).


Generally someone sleeping prone responds best to something with a bit of a "firmer" surface comfort with less conformation to not accentuate the lordotic curvature of the lower back. Side sleepers tend to like a little bit of a softer surface plushness for the hips/shoulders and contouring of the larger differences of those dimensions. With everything you've requested in the mattress design, finding something using quality materials with "just enough" surface plushness would most likely be the avenue you'd want to investigate (all foams do soften with use over time). And of course always using a good support core to help promote a more neutral alignment and prevent bottoming out.

After doing the tutorials on TMU and other research/mattress trials, I am narrowing on three types: 1) a flippable polyfoam innerspring like we had, or 2) a 100% natural latex without fillers or GOLS in either three layers of all foam (preferably a customizable do it yourself with zipper cover), or 3) a flippable/two sided with latex over an innerspring but no polyfoam at all to get full benefit of longer latex durability.


These can all be good choices, and are available in a huge array of comforts. GOLS would be a personal preference choice and not a measure of quality for the latex. As you said you're familiar with the tutorials on the TMU site, you're then aware of making sure any polyfoam is of a higher density to help ensure consistency and durability.

Given our normal sleeping positions we are at opposite needs my theory as to why the old mattress worked is because it was only about 11" thick so it likely didn't have too much padding for my wife's hips to sink too far.


That's quite possible. Also, being a two-sided product, the design is different and there are limitations to the depth of the comfort cradle. We also don't know the types of padding materials used. But regardless, it worked.

Also, since it wasn't pocket coils (I would guess a Bonnell or open-end offset system) perhaps that too supported my wifes hips.


It was most likely a continuous coil unit. Regardless, the innerspring unit is rarely the weak link within a mattress and all of the materials work as a unit to provide both support and comfort. Fabric-encased spring units can also be very supportive.

For me, I think the 2" or so of polyfoam probably drew pressure relief from the coils


I don't know what that means, but both the innerspring unit and the padding materials will assist to distribute pressure over a wider area. The upper materials tend to be the most noticeable at doing this.

which I suspect were softer on initial compression then firmer on deeper compression.


Yes, springs and polyfoams will provide a "progressive" resistance and firm up as mass is applied.

1) What would you recommend we look for in a mattress for a good fit for us in general and what specifications for components?


I can't do that. There are tens of thousands of different mattresses made, and there would be no way for me to pick something for you via an online forum and be accurate and do you justice. I can only address componentry and give guidance for materials that might best suit your personal preferences (as listed in my earlier replies to your requests in this post).

2) I have seen some hybrid latex, one sided mattresses with no base support layer of dense foam under the coils. The quilted mattress cover appears all the coils sit on. Is that not a bad design?


Not necessarily. The design can be sound depending upon the quality of the encasement of the mattress and the foundation upon which the mattress is placed (i.e., slat spacing).

3) Is a warranty that goes prorated after just 1-2 years a red flag? 5 years?


A ten year warranty is "standard" boilerplate domestically, but I'll be the first on to tell you that it really isn't indicative of the quality or durability of the product. Focus on the quality of componentry, quality of assembly, and reputation of the company (especially if warranty is important to you).

Hopefully these answers to your questions will help you move forward and narrow down your scope of components that might work well for you, and compliment the TMU tutorials you've read. You've had something that you've like for a long time, and approximating that comfort using high quality materials would certainly be a good leaping-off point.

Good luck!
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
Researching for a mattress?... read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members

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need some advice 01 Jun 2020 13:20 #3

Hello Mr. Scheuer,

Very much appreciated the advice! It really helped us move forward in our process. Have a few more questions. We did have a productive week of mattress trying going through the five steps. Surprisingly, we decided we didn't like the latex as much as the traditional polyfoam innerspring.

For the mattress:
We are down to two or three mattresses, and I have been able to get most component specs. The price is about the same for all our options.

One company is Southern Mattress in Rocky Mount, NC (very good people). They have a two sided pillow top queen mattress in their spinopedic line. Their advantage is 2.3lb polyfoam (2 inches thick on either side then add the pillow top (about 1" I think) to that with the same 2.3lb foam). Their relative disadvantage is a bonnell coil. It is good though with 12.75 gauge and 5 turns (not sure about number of coils). That said, I was looking for an open ended offset coil as I thought that would conform better and give more gentle support for my side sleeping. Finally, I don't think they use any felt layer in their insulator pad (might just have a tight knit polyester layer between the springs and foam) but I am trying to confirm.

The other company is The Original Mattress Factory. They have a two sided orthopedic ultra plush queen mattress with a tight top. Their disadvantage is that they only have 1.5lb foam (3.25 inches both sides). Their advantage is a knotted offset coil spring. It is 12.75 gauge with cylinder edge supports of rigid foam. Has 468 coils and 6 turns. Also, they made a big deal that they use a heavy duty cotton felt pad in their insulator pad.

My thoughts were that the weak link in a mattress is the foam and to go with the Southern Mattress as it has better foam.
1) Am I right to think 2.3lb foam is significantly better than 1.5lb?
2) For the Southern Mattress Bonnell coil is there a coil count number below which I should be concerned (saw on TMU that 375 should be a minimum for a queen)? Is the Bonnell that much less desirable than an offset coil? I see the Bonnell described as a "budget" but "good" option while the offset coils appear more high end. I thought the Original Mattress Factory coils conformed a bit more and I couldn't feel them as much as the Southern Mattress Bonnell.
3) Is the (potential) insulator pad difference significant? Also, should I be concerned that cotton pads can absorb moisture and might not be good in a humid climate?

For box springs:
1. All things being equal, is there any difference in performance, durability, etc. between a low profile (4-5") and a standard (8") height?
2. I think Southern Mattress uses the Leggett and Platt True-Flex (still trying to confirm) while The Original Mattress Factory produces something in house that looks roughly similar. Would either of those be good? Is there a style/design of box spring you would recommend over others?

Finally, in your video that covers metal bed frames, what was the brand that had six legs with those wide casters? Looked like a frame that one could trust to handle anything.

Thank you!

Best,
TCD

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need some advice 01 Jun 2020 16:42 #4

Seneca55:

One company is Southern Mattress in Rocky Mount, NC (very good people). They have a two sided pillow top queen mattress in their spinopedic line. Their advantage is 2.3lb polyfoam (2 inches thick on either side then add the pillow top (about 1" I think) to that with the same 2.3lb foam). Their relative disadvantage is a bonnell coil. It is good though with 12.75 gauge and 5 turns (not sure about number of coils).


Foam used is a good density. Bonnell isn't necessarily a problem. It can be a very durable innerspring unit. 336 and 364 (full spring counts) in a good gauge of steel have a long history.

That said, I was looking for an open ended offset coil as I thought that would conform better and give more gentle support for my side sleeping.


It can by itself, but remember that all layers work together to provide your overall comfort. Trust how the bed felt.

Finally, I don't think they use any felt layer in their insulator pad (might just have a tight knit polyester layer between the springs and foam) but I am trying to confirm.


There are different fiber layers atop the innerspring unit that do a good job and have different characteristics. Synthetic fiber layers can do a very good job as well as cotton or precompressed fiber pads.

The other company is The Original Mattress Factory. They have a two sided orthopedic ultra plush queen mattress with a tight top. Their disadvantage is that they only have 1.5lb foam (3.25 inches both sides).


This would be lower density foam than the Southern mattress you looked at, and most likely less durable over time.

Their advantage is a knotted offset coil spring. It is 12.75 gauge with cylinder edge supports of rigid foam.


The Bonnell is knotted as well. The difference is the design being offset, so can pivot a bit differently in the helical lacing, as well as a bit of a different geometry so it compresses at a different rate and manner as compared to the Bonnell. Both can be excellent innerspring units. Check to see if there is any edge reinforcement system in the Southern mattress, like perhaps V-clips.

Has 468 coils and 6 turns.


486 in a queen. Just to clarify for someone else who might read this.

Also, they made a big deal that they use a heavy duty cotton felt pad in their insulator pad.


Some companies like to use different materials for their insulator pads. There are pros and cons for each, and they will work to provide a different overall comfort. The key is having something atop the innerspring unit before the upholstery comfort layers are placed on top.

My thoughts were that the weak link in a mattress is the foam and to go with the Southern Mattress as it has better foam.


Yes, the weak link within most mattresses is usually the comfort materials.

1) Am I right to think 2.3lb foam is significantly better than 1.5lb?


With all other things being equal, that would generally be correct that it would be more durable and maintain a more consistent comfort life.

2) For the Southern Mattress Bonnell coil is there a coil count number below which I should be concerned (saw on TMU that 375 should be a minimum for a queen)? Is the Bonnell that much less desirable than an offset coil? I see the Bonnell described as a "budget" but "good" option while the offset coils appear more high end. I thought the Original Mattress Factory coils conformed a bit more and I couldn't feel them as much as the Southern Mattress Bonnell.


The 336, 364 and 380 (full spring counts) Bonnell units can be quite durable. Remember that your perception of comfort is a combination of everything, not just the innerspring unit.

3) Is the (potential) insulator pad difference significant? Also, should I be concerned that cotton pads can absorb moisture and might not be good in a humid climate?


I'd be more concerned about the lack of a pad than necessarily what is used. Cotton can be absorbent, but if you're keeping your relative humidity low in your home than I wouldn't have as much of a concern.

For box springs:
1. All things being equal, is there any difference in performance, durability, etc. between a low profile (4-5") and a standard (8") height?


It depends upon they style of foundation. Usually the module stays the same and the build under it is different, so there usually isn't much of a difference in the profile chosen.

2. I think Southern Mattress uses the Leggett and Platt True-Flex (still trying to confirm) while The Original Mattress Factory produces something in house that looks roughly similar. Would either of those be good? Is there a style/design of box spring you would recommend over others?


Torsion system can help extend sleep set life and will also contribute to comfort, but the mattress has to be designed to use it. It's more common to have an active foundation with a two-sided mattress. The choice depends upon the designer and what they are trying to accomplish. Some of the flimsy wood foundations and really thin semi-flex units with wide spacing on the top grid are my least favorite.

Finally, in your video that covers metal bed frames, what was the brand that had six legs with those wide casters? Looked like a frame that one could trust to handle anything.


Probably a Rize (Mantua) model. If you find the video again the model is named.
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
Researching for a mattress?... read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members

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need some advice 03 Jun 2020 12:42 #5

Hello Mr. Scheuer,

We had a setback in that Southern Mattress suddenly said they can't make a mattress for me just as I was about to place the order. They said they are currently short handed and got an order from a college for a large number of mattresses. Very disappointed as they had a superior product.

I had been considering and very impressed with Fox Mattresses which is a TMU member and decided to give them another look. While they are in Florida and I am in North Carolina, I have really appreciated working with Chelsea (the owner's daughter) as she has been very transparent, willing to answer questions, and most importantly her chief concern has been what is best for me and that I get a good outcome. She clearly cares about the customer first and making a sale second. I am considering a queen size in their Foxopedic line which has the following specs:

overall mattress: 12" thick, two sided

inner spring: 12.5 gauge offset coil unit, edge to edge coil unit, double tempered steel, with foam and steel edge supports, and vulcan oil coated to prevent rust

foam: 2.3lb, 3" thick on each side; soy mixed polyfoam; we would go with the soft foam (ILD 17-20); also has sag resistant netting layer

fire barrier: rayon/silica

cover fabric - cotton

warranty - 10 years (non-prorated), >1.25" deep sag covered

price inc. tax, box spring, and shipping ($1698)

Our other option is still The Original Mattress Factory's Orthopedic Ultra Plush set in a queen size.

overall mattress: 14.5"; two-sided

inner spring - 12.75 gauge, 400 unit, 486 coils, 6 turns, single tempered; foam cylinder edge supports

foam - 1.5lb in two 1" thick layers with another 3/4" in the quilting on each side; ILD of 15

fire barrier - rayon/silica

warranty - 12 years non-prorated, covers > 1.5" sag depth

price inc. shipping, box spring, tax ($1,170)

Here are my thoughts:
1. Fox is better mattress as has better foam which is the weak link.
2. Due to distance have not tried the Fox mattress. That obviously raises questions about how much we will like it. That said, we have tried enough mattresses to know our type (plush with thick layers of soft foam, innerspring with offset or bonnell unit about 12.75 gauge) and I haven't noticed a big difference between different mattresses of this type.
3. Warranty is a problem with Fox in that we would have to ship the mattress to Florida. That said, it is a high quality mattress so it would seem that something like a broken coil is very unlikely.
4. Intangibles - OMF has treated us well and have an helpful manager but they cover the entire eastern US and are fairly large; I like Fox a lot better as a smaller company and they are the type of company you can establish a long term relationship with; we will be needing a guest room mattress and a new mattress for my son in the next 1-2 years.

So I am torn and would appreciate some help making a decision.

1. The Fox mattress with the much better foam will have a longer lifespan and comfort consistency but I am unsure how long in years that could be to determine if the extra cost is worth it. Based on your experience in the industry and looking at the components what would your best guess be about a reasonable range for the lifespan of each of the two mattresses?
2. Do you think the distance/warranty is a major issue?
3. Do you think we should not consider any mattress we haven't tried, even if it fits our type and we tried similar ones?
4. As we are looking at a plush mattress (we both much preferred them) I do worry that we are picking the kind of mattress that will have the shortest lifespan. Should we consider a firmer foam knowing it will soften in time?

Thanks!
TCD

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need some advice 03 Jun 2020 15:39 #6

Seneca55:

They said they are currently short handed and got an order from a college for a large number of mattresses. Very disappointed as they had a superior product.


Many mattress manufacturers are playing catch up right now. Delays are pretty common, and there is a shortage of some of the non-wovens due to their use in masks and surgical gowns.

1. The Fox mattress with the much better foam will have a longer lifespan and comfort consistency but I am unsure how long in years that could be to determine if the extra cost is worth it. Based on your experience in the industry and looking at the components what would your best guess be about a reasonable range for the lifespan of each of the two mattresses?


There are many variables involved in overall mattress durability, and estimating comfort life can be very difficult. Body type, use patterns, maintenance, combinations of materials...they all have an impact. But higher density polyfoams will usually produce a longer and more consistent comfort life.

2. Do you think the distance/warranty is a major issue?


That's personal to you. My own opinion is that I'd rather have a product using higher quality materials from a reputable and experienced manufacturer with a shorter warranty than something using lower quality materials with a longer warranty. Having higher quality materials will tend to hedge your bets for the need of a potential warranty claim, and comfort isn't covered under a warranty, and that's the real thing that wears out on a mattress. Warranty is pretty low on my list of importance when representing a product to someone.

3. Do you think we should not consider any mattress we haven't tried, even if it fits our type and we tried similar ones?


Again, that's a personal preference and how comfortable you are buying something sight unseen. I've found that the most reliable descriptions of the product will come from the manufacturer, and they would be best able to compare for you how their mattresses compare to something else. Check to see if there are any return/exchange policies. And be aware that items may "be like" something else you've tried, but unless they use the exact same materials they will have different qualities and feels. Some people are more fussy than others in their comfort preferences. You know yourself better than I do.

4. As we are looking at a plush mattress (we both much preferred them) I do worry that we are picking the kind of mattress that will have the shortest lifespan. Should we consider a firmer foam knowing it will soften in time?


Again, this is subjective. All foams do soften with use over time. My advice is that if you try something in a showroom and when you test it you decide that you'd never want anything softer, then you need to choose something that is a bit stiffer on top, as the mattress will generally feel more soft on top as time goes on (which can then over time actually result in "feeling through" some of the upper softer layers to the firmer deep layers and then the mattress feels harder - but this depends upon construction and componentry used). Sleep ergonomic researchers generally would like you to defer toward good support characteristics and then "just enough" comfort materials to get the job done.

Good luck!
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
Researching for a mattress?... read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members

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